Northern Lights Imperial Pilsner

– Federico Portillo

Imperial IPA

Y’all remember that 1970’s yoke about “American Beer being like making love in a canoe”? Well, Imperial IPA is what happened to the English Indian Pale Ale when it was released from its straitjacket by West Coast American craft brewers in the 90s. An Imperial IPA is a very drinkable hops forward beer with a medium-light body and high alcohol content. Citrus notes and light colors are common in this style.

Northern Lights

Imperial (or double) IPA, together with cream ale, are my two favorite “American Born” styles for which I selected the first one to test the Omega Voss strain that captured my attention in winter of 2017.  Yes, it might be a contradiction to use a farmhouse strain from across the pond in a native beer style, but this recipe demonstrated to me one of the best characters of our Nation:  Take IPA, make it double to call it ours, and then enable it to show you how great homebrewing could be. This recipe became one of the beers I’ll always have in my rotation and it won people’s choice in our 2018 Winter Fest.

6.0 gal

  • 11 Lbs. 2-Row
  • 2 Lbs. Maris Otter
  • 2 Lbs. Wheat flaked
  • 1 Lb. Vienna Malt
  • 8 oz. Rice Hulls.
  • 2 oz. Acid Malt

Protein Rest at 125°F for 20min.  Add 3 gal of 150°F water

Infusion Mash at 155°F for 50min.  Add 6 gal of 180°F water

2.00 oz 14%AA Citra. 60 min (80 IBUs)

0.25 oz 9%AA Perle. 20min (5 IBUs)

1 tsp of Irish Moss. 5 min

1 tsp of yeast nutrient. 5min

1.o oz Crystal. 3 days dry hopping stars at the end of the 1st fermentation (the most aggressive CO2 production ends after about 50 hrs.)  Then, cold crash for two days before transferring.

Yeast: 1 pkg Voss Kveik (Omega OYL-062). It made me extremely happy the way this bug produced a clean (non-phenolic), strong (+/-8% ABV), drinkable (yummm!) beer in only a few days at +80°F.

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